B.C. gender-equality groups get federal cash

Media diversity initiative among projects to get funding

Status of Women Minister Maryam Monsef in Vancouver on Friday. The Canadian Press.

A project to increase diversity in Vancouver’s news media is among seven gender-equality initiatives in B.C. that have received $2.2 million in federal funding.

The Multilingual Orientation Service Association for Immigrant Communities, or MOSAIC, says the project will address issues including discrimination, stereotyping and lack of representation of female experts.

Studies suggest male experts are interviewed by the media far more often than female experts, said Ayesha S. Chaudhry, a MOSAIC leader and a UBC associate professor in Islamic and gender studies.

“It’s really important that we have a diversity of voices, not just in terms of gender, but class, sexuality and race, so that the people who are watching the news see themselves represented and their concerns and their perspectives are also captured,” Chaudhry said.

The project will urge media to increase female representation and train women academics on speaking with reporters, she said. It will also develop a framework on reporting on violence against women.

Status of Women Minister Maryam Monsef and Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould announced the funding in Vancouver on Friday. Monsef has been travelling the country giving cash to groups working to advance the equality of girls, women and people who don’t conform to a specific gender.

“The greater purpose of this tour, for me, has been to hear from organizations and leaders on the ground how as a government we can be part of your success — how we can get out of your way, but catalyze the change that you are working towards each and every single day,” Monsef said.

Other groups to receive funding include the Ending Violence Association of BC, which will launch a project to improve the way workplaces respond to gender-based violence, and the Women Against Violence Against Women Rape Crisis Centre, which will work to improve the justice system’s response to sexual violence survivors.

Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould says she and the government of Canada have been working hard to strengthen public confidence in the legal system and address gender-based violence.

“We are unwavering in our commitment to ensure that survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault are accorded and treated with respect and dignity, the respect and dignity that they deserve,” she said.

The Minerva Foundation for BC Women aims to increase women leaders in the technology sector, while the Society for Canadian Women in Science and Technology said it will work to improve gender diversity in the science, technology, engineering and math fields in Vancouver.

Society president Fariba Pacheleh said the goal is for workers in these industries to be judged on the basis of their skills, not on their gender, skin colour, accent or physical appearance.

The aim is for an average woman to be able to advance at the same rate as an average man, she said.

“I’m not talking about brilliant women,” she said. “I’m talking about ordinary people.”

Laura Kane, The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Woman charged in Abbotsford mall stabbing served time for 2001 killing

Victim in Edmonton killing was stabbed eight times with kitchen knife

Trial date scheduled for man charged with killing Abbotsford officer

Oscar Arfmann slated to go to trial in New Westminster in January 2019

Mission to host We’re Your Neighbours immigration forum

Baltej Dhillon will be the guest speaker at the event set for March 17

Victoria-bound passengers left at Abbotsford airport

YXX staffers receive praise for help to passengers; airline criticized

Senior randomly stabbed in Abbotsford mall food court

Woman arrested after victim, 71, suffers serious injuries

VIDEO: Orcas put on a show near Hornby Island

Louis Jobodin shares photos and video of his experience

Body discovered in burnt out car near Trail

Police report a body was found in the burnt out trunk of a 1999 Honda Civic

VIDEO: B.C. Lions sign defensive back T.J. Lee to contract for upcoming season

The four-year veteran had a team-high four interceptions and 49 tackles last season with B.C.

How an immigrant to Canada helped Donald Trump prove his mental health

Test that cleared Trump was developed by doctor associated with McGill and Sherbrooke universities

Premier touches on multiple topics ahead of Asia trade trip

Housing and childcare are expected to be the focus of the BC NDP’s first budget in February.

UPDATE: Friends mourn boy, 15, killed in Vancouver shooting

John Horgan: ‘No stone is to be left unturned until we find the perpetrator of this heinous crime’

VIDEO: Explorers uncover Canada’s deepest cave in Fernie

The cave, named Bisaro Anima, was confirmed to have broken the record on New Year’s Day

Vernon to host largest Special Olympics B.C. Winter Games in 2019

Games to be held Feb. 21-23, with more than 800 athletes expected to take part

League’s all-stars hit the ice in Langley

PJHL hosts top junior B players for all-star game

Most Read